Former soldier beat ex so badly she had to have a metal plate put in her face
A judge has said she will jail a former soldier who repeatedly punched and kicked his ex-partner, fracturing her eyes, face and skull.
Jessica Bowes begged for her life during the “merciless” attack by Jonathan McSherry (34). Judge Melanie Greally said that after his “brutal acts of violence” McSherry left his victim unconsciousness and in “a very perilous position”.
McSherry (34) of Cedarbrook Walk, Cherry Orchard, Dublin pleaded guilty to assault causing harm at Grange View Way, Clondalkin on December 20, 2015.
Footage of the attack, played in Dublin Circuit Criminal Court, showed him punching Jessica Bowes to the ground, kicking her at least four times and then dragging her along the ground and continuing to punch her.
Ms Bowes lost consciousness after the first punch and then a second time during what she described as a merciless attack. She said she thought she was going to die.
The assault left her with permanent scarring and nerve damage. In a victim impact report the mother-of-three said her lips wouldn't close together fully and in a cold environment her top lip didn't move, making her face look “deformed”.
The court heard there were fractures to her skull, eye sockets and cheek bone. The imprint of a shoe was left on her face and there were boot marks under her chin.
She had a metal plate put into her face. Her memory was impaired and she relied on her 10-year-old daughter to remind her of the younger children's birthdays.
Ms Bowes said she was now overprotective of her children and in a constant state of anxiety. She had nightmares about McSherry and became paralysed with fear and “trapped in a nightmare”.
When she wakes up from these nightmares, she cries her eyes out.
Judge Greally remanded McSherry on continuing bail until December 21 so he can continue his treatment at the Coolmine residential drug treatment programme. She said that a prison sentence was inevitable given the severity of the assault and of the injuries.
Garda Stephen Kelly told the court that there was a barring order placed against McSherry the previous January. On the night of the attack, the victim and two friends were getting a lift to her home from a nightclub.
McSherry was waiting at the house and jumped on the car, smashing its front window with his fists. He then began his attack, punching the victim up to eight times.
At one point, when she regained consciousness, she told him, “you're going to kill me” but he kept punching her in the head. McSherry was arrested on the night and remanded in custody until the following April when he was granted bail on condition he take part in the drug treatment programme.
Rebecca Smith BL, defending, said her client had a history of depression and drug addiction. She said that his time in prison was a short sharp shock and the best thing to happen to him.
She said since then he had genuinely turned his life around and had successfully engaged with alternatives to violence programmes at Coolmine.
Counsel said McSherry, who has two young children with the victim, had no words to express his remorse for his actions.
“He has done everything he can to make amends, to try to change himself, for the sake of his family and for the sake of his children”.
< ends >< additional evidence >
Ms Smith told the court that her client had consumed a huge amount of alcohol and cocaine and did not remember carrying out the assault.
She said that “a red mist” descended on him. She said he had used the time since the attack to gain insight into what he did and his future.
She said as a result of his remand in custody, he had lost his car sales business. He had also not seen his children since the attack.
Counsel said that McSherry had a difficult childhood. His father was an alcoholic and there were a number of violent beatings in the home including a stabbing incident involving his mother.
After leaving school at 15, McSherry apprenticed and qualified as a plasterer before serving in the army for seven years. Counsel said that McSherry said he was bullied in the army and started suffering from depression.
She said when he was 27, McSherry saw a woman kill herself by jumping off a bridge on the Naas road. He got counselling but then later tried to kill himself on two occasions.
He then began abusing cocaine and tablets and a drug addiction spiralled, counsel said.
Garda Kelly told Gerardine Small BL, prosecuting, that McSherry has two previous convictions, one for a theft offence and another for a documentary road traffic offence.